New approaches, new activities and new outcomes in international conferences on HIV/AIDS in Africa - report of the 3rd African Conference on the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, Dakar, 10-14 October 2005
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Africa's HIV/AIDS situation remains cause for concern.The impact of HIV is considerable and threatens the survival and development of African societies.Although much has been attempted, the results still leave much to be desired. AIDS is an epidemic that needs to be addressed with much creativity and spirit of initiative. It is against this background that the 3rd African conference on the social aspects of HIV/AIDS brought innovations in the way international conferences are designed, activities implemented and results obtained. The innovations concerned the approach to international conferences and take into account reconceptualising HIV/AIDS so as to encourage holistic approaches and better visibility of vulnerable groups.The activities of the
conference were organised in such a way as to get people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), grassroots communities and marginalised groups to play a focal role.The conference offered an opportunity for developing cultural activities that would translate the African cultural concepts that had been identified as important in the HIV situation and response analysis. Interaction at the conference created an opportunity to analyse the various dimensions of the political, cultural and economic determinants.
The conference offered food for thought around response construction while singling out the themes of urgency and acceleration of response, synergy construction, and coordination and conception of political responses.